Lindsey's February 2022 Media Diary

Inventing Anna

A short month and yet jam-packed full of movies and TV shows! Some good, some bad. Let's review:

TV Shows

Love is Blind Season 2

This show is so freaking addicting, I hate it (but also, I love it). Unlike season 1, which brought us the iconic pairing that is Cameron and Lauren, I’m not sure if any of this season’s couples are in it for the long haul, but it’s fun to watch them try. Once again, there’s a basic white dude who is objectively a horrible person that two girls are fighting over anyway, plus a bunch of mismatched couples that are already regretting their choices. I am a bit disappointed to see the show attempt to add in plus-size contestants only to give them next to zero screen time, as I’d like to see a show that supposedly confronts the idea that love can transcend superficial judgments and stereotypes embrace contestants that aren’t “conventionally attractive”, but there’s plenty of drama to satisfy my need for low-stakes TV watching.

The Originals Seasons 1 and 2

Following my Vampire Diaries binge, I've moved onto its New Orleans-based spinoff that follows the original family of vampires and their friends and enemies. As it follows adult characters, it's more mature and darker than TVD, but still with plenty of angsty romances, vampire brawls, and yeah, lots of blood sucking. I really enjoy how The Originals embraces the voodoo mysticism and history of its New Orleans setting. Reminds me of why I enjoyed American Horror Story: Coven despite its flaws.

Sweet Magnolias Season 1

I'm only halfway through the first season of this Southern soap, so not much to say yet. I always enjoy Joanna Garcia on screen. 


The premise of this show—a cast of characters led by Will Arnett's Detective Terry Seattle must solve murders, aided by celebrity guests who have no scripts and must improvise their way to finding the killer—is so creative that I had to check it out. It's kooky fun, and Marshawn Lynch is a surprising standout amongst a guest list that includes Conan O'Brien and Sharon Stone.

Inventing Anna

Where to begin with this one. I wanted to love it. I didn't hate it. I just think Shonda Rhimes miscalculated why Anna Delvey became such a phenomenon to begin with and where our sympathies lie. Fascination does not equal fandom, and it is weird to frame Anna as a sympathetic victim of the patriarchy in her quest to con her way to $40 million and make it to the top of New York's social scene. It's also odd to center so much of the story on the journalist who uncovered Anna's schemes, although that might have been a condition of adapting Jessica Pressler's original story. 

The Gilded Age Season 1*

Speaking of lauded showrunners with buzzy new projects, everyone has been eagerly awaiting Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes' follow-up, The Gilded Age. This show has enough Tony Award-winning actors to fill a Broadway theater and the production value is through the roof. There are fascinating characters here and there, but the plotlines are largely shallow (will the Old Money folks let the New Money folks attend their charity luncheon? Will the pretty heiress find a suitable suitor? Will Meryl Streep's youngest daughter get better at acting?) and I find myself struggling to know who, if anyone, I should be rooting for here. And there haven't been nearly enough scenes where Christine Baranski cuts people down to size. 

Severance (began season 1)*

This show is weird and I like it. Only 3 episodes in but it presents some really fascinating ideas about work-life balance taken to the extreme. It's Black Mirror meets Mad Men meets...well, you know what? You should just watch. 

* Week-to-week shows

Also watching: The Righteous Gemstones 


The Tinder Swindler (2022, dir. Felicity Morris)

I love a scammer. I might have been swayed by the Swindler's whirlwind dates, but the second he asked for money I would have said, "Peace out." 

Death on the Nile (2022, dir. Kenneth Branagh)

It’s the Kenneth Branagh-directed feature everyone is talking about right now…Death on the Nile! This movie has an insanely cursed cast and for a good two years I thought it was just going to get shelved forever, but I can now confirm that it does indeed exist and it’s a fun time if you can get past the Arm*e H*mmer of it all. Lean into the camp of Hercule Poirot’s mustache, enjoy the sumptuous locales and at-times ridiculous green screens, and treat yourself to enough champagne to fill the Nile! Everyone else is talking Spider-verse this, MCU that, but I’m here for the Hercule Poirot Cinematic Universe.

Marry Me (2022, dir. Kat Coiro)

JLo is a star and that's all I care about. I hope the songs from this get nominated for Oscars.

Uncharted (2022, dir. Ruben Fleischer)

A fine action-adventure flick with the charismatic Tom Holland as the lead and an incredibly annoying Mark Wahlberg. I have literally no knowledge of the video games this movie is based on, so I have no strong feelings about if it was a "faithful adaptation" or not. I will say that the art historian in me wept over the treatment of several centuries-old artifacts during this movie. 

Dog (2022, dir. Channing Tatum & Reid Carolin)

What can I say, Channing Tatum is one of the most reliable stars of our time, and I was pleasantly surprised by this aptly-named dog movie that was thoughtful and full of heart in its portrayal of the healing power of the bond between a man and his dog. Also, Lulu (the titular dog) is just adorable. Give her all the treats.

Cyrano (2021, dir. Joe Wright)

Peter Dinklage singing songs by The National is such a perfect fit. Ever since Anna Karenina I've gotten the sense that Joe Wright has longed to put on a musical (or at least a play) so I'm glad he got to embrace his theatricality with this adaptation.